Danny J has four years experience as a national level fitness, figure, and bikini competitor. Like most women who make history, she left something that was seemingly good for something that she knew would be better.
Danny has a Master’s Degree in Health Promotion and Exercise Science along with a bundle of personal training and weight loss certifications.
She also started the popular group called The Sweaty Betties, which she describes as an “irreverent group of women who are looking to get fit and have a whole lot of fun along the way.”
Can you tell us your about your background and what The Sweaty Betties is all about?
I was paralyzed due to an illness in 2003. I started spending a lot of time at the gym rehabbing myself and I was doing so much research, I figured I might as well get certified.
I had no idea I would love training as much as I did and I began personal training in 2005. I got so into fitness that I became a figure and bikini competitor, but after a few years, I got burnt out and sick, quite frankly.
I started a new mission to empower and educate women as well as find balance and happiness in fitness.
That is really what Sweaty Betties is all about. The Sweaty Betties is also FOR everyone — not just the extreme fitness athlete. In fact, I try to stay away from that and make fitness fun and attainable for anyone.
What was it like competing at the national level?
Competing at the national level was both an honor and a pressure. I am the kind of person that wants to be the best at everything I do.
It’s a tough sport when there is only objective criteria and some days you’re the best and some days you’re not even in the picture.
It’s a tricky place and I definitely was proud of myself for reaching that level, because I always had issues with my body and my stretch marks and thought there was no way “anyone like me” could ever get that far.
Looking back, is there anything you would do differently, competition-wise?
Looking back, some days I wish I never competed because of what I did to my body (there are some videos on YouTube about it), but honestly, I loved doing it for the majority of the shows.
I probably only would have changed one thing and that would be to communicate more with my coach and/or fire my coach who wasn’t giving me any carbs.
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What are your current goals? How have your fitness goals changed as time has passed?
My current goals are much different now that when I was competing. My goals have definitely changed as time has passed. I have always wanted to help others; that has been a constant, but now I feel a much bigger purpose.
I hosted a workshop in October called Inspiration & Perspiration, where myself and two other wonderful women did seminars on body image, motivation, diets, food, and affirmations. It was a life-changing weekend for all the participants, and for me, as well.
I want to continue to spread that kind of message and reach women on a deeper level by speaking, hosting events, and writing.
How can keeping track of your workouts help you make progress?
I think keeping track of anything — food, workouts, emotions — can help you make progress in all avenues of life. You are able to see patterns, notice little things, and stay motivated.
Sometimes when you’re feeling weak or tired or “not as good as” someone else, it’s easy to forget that you’ve made great changes. Looking back on what you have written down provides perspective and motivation to keep going.
What’s the best fitness advice you’ve ever received?
I don’t know if this is advice I got from someone or something I just noticed from training myself and others… but it’s this: be consistent. It doesn’t matter if you workout 7 days a week for 5 months then quit. You’ll lose all you had.
Just choose something you can be consistent with and the results will come.
I find balance now in training only 4 days a week, but I’m consistent with it and that’s what helps.
What’s the most rewarding part of running your own health and fitness blog?
The most rewarding part is the emails I get from people telling me about their progress and the changes they are making.
It’s amazing to be able to have such a large reach and meet people in other states and countries that I never would have been able to had it not been for the online community. I’m very blessed to be able to do this.